Transgressions: The Ransome Women/The Things They Left Behind


New York Times bestsellers and thriller legends John Farris and Stephen King each provided a brand-new, never-before-published tale for this unique collection of stories edited by New York Times bestselling author and mystery legend Ed McBain.

The Ransome Women by John Farris: A psychological thriller that questions the role beauty plays in society and the cult of celebrity. A young and beautiful, starving artist catches a break when her idol, the reclusive portraitist John ...

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Transgressions Vol. 2: The Ransome Women/The Things They Left Behind

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New York Times bestsellers and thriller legends John Farris and Stephen King each provided a brand-new, never-before-published tale for this unique collection of stories edited by New York Times bestselling author and mystery legend Ed McBain.

The Ransome Women by John Farris: A psychological thriller that questions the role beauty plays in society and the cult of celebrity. A young and beautiful, starving artist catches a break when her idol, the reclusive portraitist John Ransome offers her a lucrative modeling contract. But how long will her excitement last when she discovers the fate shared by all Ransome's past subjects?

The Things They Left Behind by Stephen King: A hauntingly moving tale of survival guilt in New York City after 9/11. Scott Staley called in sick for his job at the World Trade Center that Tuesday morning. Now in the aftermath of 9/11, he must face his guilty conscience as he begins to find the things his deceased coworkers left behind.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Veteran crime writer Ed McBain has done a bang-up job selecting the contents of Transgressions, an anthology of ten original novellas by some of the top names in the mystery/suspense field. McBain says, "Except for length and a loose adherence to crime, mystery or suspense, I placed no restrictions upon the writers who agreed to contribute." The results of that challenge are varied and outstanding, including Donald E. Westlake's Dortmunder caper, McBain's own dramatic 87th Precinct story, a chilling psychological suspense offering by Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King's short and anything-but-sweet post-9/11 tale. By the time you add powerful stories by Lawrence Block, Jeffery Deaver, John Farris, Sharyn McCrumb, Walter Mosley, and Anne Perry, you've got a volume that any self-respecting suspense fan would consider it a "transgression" to miss. Sue Stone
From the Publisher
"Tackles 9/11 survivor guilt with bracing poignancy."—Entertainmant Weekly on The Things They Left Behind

"Chilling. . . strangely moving."—Kirkus Reviews on The Things They Left Behind

"Haunting."—Chicago Sun Times on The Ransome Women

Entertainmant Weekly on The Things They Left Behind
Tackles 9/11 survivor guilt with bracing poignancy.
Chicgo Sun Times on The Ransome Women
Library Journal
Transgressions are not normally viewed as opportunities, but this eponymous collection of novellas by Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley, Anne Perry, and more offer a superb opportunity for readers of mystery, crime, and suspense fiction. Compiled by perennial best-selling author McBain, these ten tales, three to four times longer than a typical short story, provide just enough vital depth to entrap readers, as well as the requisite brevity to fit them into one collection. From the disaffected teenager in Joyce Carol Oates's "The Corn Maiden" to the haunted 9/11 survivor in King's "The Things They Left Behind" to the reluctant grave robber in Sharyn McCrumb's "The Resurrection Man," this assortment of stories and characters does not disappoint. Although the ten novellas analyze a variety of topics and situations, they all exhibit the level of quality expected from such a stellar collection of writing talent. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.-Ken Bolton, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What's a novella? McBain says, 10,000 to 40,000 words-and adds, "It ain't easy." Still, a marquee list takes a shot at it here, including the editor himself. The range is wide, the success rate high, and the degree of pleasure on offer remarkable. John Farris's engrossing "The Ransom Women," in which a tough cop, a lovely girl and a famous painter collaborate in a lethal Faustian bargain, may be the best, though Sharyn McCrumb's grim, heart-rending, beautifully modulated "The Resurrection Man" is close behind. McCrumb's improbable hero, a gravedigger, finds redemption through suffering, courage and Ghandi-like adherence to principle. McBain in "Merely Hate" and Donald E. Westlake in "Walking Around Money" add worthwhile installments to long-running sagas: Steve Carella and his 87th Precinct buds have what may be a series of hate crimes on their hands, while Dortmunder, pricklier than usual, has thieves falling out on his. "The Corn Maiden" is Joyce Carol Oates's disturbing portrait of a monstrous 12-year-old girl, a spooky distaff echo of Leopold and Loeb. Stephen King tells the chilling, though strangely moving, tale of a 9/11 survivor to whom survival becomes a burden. Lawrence Block's deft, cheeky "Keller's Adjustment" is 9/11-themed, too, after a fashion, in its focus on a lonely hit man's career change in the wrenching aftermath. Anne Perry's "Hostages" revisits the Troubles in Northern Ireland a bit melodramatically, and Jeffery Deaver's take on cloning in "Forever" is a bit dull. But Walter Mosley's "Archibald Lawless, Anarchist at Large" is the only real disappointment here: such great prose, so little story. McBain himself doesn't quite make the point, but the best of theseperformances do: The novella, once called the novelette, may be the ideal form for most crime fiction, if only there were a market for it. $200,000 ad/promo budget
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765347510
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 8/29/2006
  • Series: Transgressions Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 642,658
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN FARRIS is the 2002 Horror Writers' Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner and the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers including, The Fury, When Michael Calls, and Soon She Will Be Gone. His most recent novel is Phantom Nights. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

STEPHEN KING was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 40 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers. Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

Ed McBain was also known as Evan Hunter. His writing career has spanned almost five decades, from his first novel, The Blackboard Jungle, in 1954 to the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds to Candyland, written in tandem with his alter ego, Ed McBain, to his most recent novel, The Moment She Was Gone. He is the first American ever to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association's highest award. He also holds the Mystery Writers of America's prestigious Grand Master Award. His last 87th Precinct novel was Fiddlers. Evan Hunter / Ed McBain passed away in Fall 2005.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Walking around money 11
Hostages 75
The corn maiden : a love story 131
Archibald Lawless, anarchist at large : walking the line 223
The resurrection man 311
Merely hate 375
The things they left behind 451
The ransome women 481
Forever 603
Keller's adjustment 725
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Interviews & Essays

Ransom Notes Interview with Ed McBainRansom Notes: How did you decide which authors (and how many) to invite to participate? Ed McBain: I knew from the start it would be ten. Ten best, right? Besides, the length of each individual entry dictated that there not be more than ten or the book would become too bulky and in fact somewhat forbidding. Choosing the writers was the easy part: I just made a list of writers I love to read. And (fingers crossed) I began asking them to contribute.RN: Who was the first author you invited? EM: Many moons ago, at different stages of our careers, Don Westlake, Larry Block, and I each worked as "editors" at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. During our separate apprenticeships there, we learned how to write (for pay) short stories, novels and -- yes -- novellas. I knew that both Larry and Don were familiar with the form, and I knew that if they promised to deliver, they would. They were the first people I contacted. Happily, they each had an idea and the time to write it for me.RN: Who did you think was least likely to participate? EM: Both Sharyn McCrumb and Anne Perry, whose work I love but whom I had never met. Actually, these two stories were obviously something each author had been wanting to write for a long time, and -- luckily -- I just happened to be strolling by.RN: Which story was the first one finished? EM: Don Westlake was the first to deliver his story -- a good omen in that it was a total delight and a harbinger of what was to come.RN: What was the biggest challenge as you shifted roles from contributor to editor of Transgressions?EM: Daring to tell writers of such stature how I felt a scene or a paragraph or even a line could be made better. But these are all professionals. Timidly, I approached. Reassuringly, they said, "Ahh, yes, Done." RN: What prompted you to make your own entry an 87th Precinct story? EM: A novella is always challenging -- which is why I guess most writers stay away from them. But the very form of the 87th Precinct novels (successive interviews with suspects or witnesses with explosive points of action) actually made writing a novella easier. In fact, by plotting as if I were about to write a novel, I found myself with an overabundance of scenes from which to choose. RN: Which story would you say is closest to a traditional mystery? EM: I'd say my own story is closest to the traditional form. After that, either Jeffery's or Don's. Three of the most offbeat novellas in the collection are by the women writers I asked to join me.
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